Climate change in mountain regions: how local communities adapt to extreme events

Ingold, Karin; Balsiger, Jürg; Hirschi, Christian (2010). Climate change in mountain regions: how local communities adapt to extreme events. Local Environment, 15(7), pp. 651-661. Taylor & Francis 10.1080/13549839.2010.498811

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This paper examines how local communities adapt to climate change and how governance structures can foster or undermine adaptive capacity. Climate change policies, in general, and disaster risk management in mountain regions, in particular, are characterised by their multi-level and multi-sectoral nature during formulation and implementation. The involvement of numerous state and non-state actors at local to national levels produces a variety of networks of interaction and communication. The paper argues that the structure of these relational patterns is critical for understanding adaptive capacity. It thus proposes an expanded concept of adaptive capacity that incorporates (horizontal and vertical) actor integration and communication flow between these actors. The paper further advocates the use of formal social network analysis to assess these relational patterns. Preliminary results from research on adaptation to climate change in a Swiss mountain region vulnerable to floods and other natural hazards illustrate the conceptual and empirical significance of the main arguments.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Political Science

UniBE Contributor:

Ingold, Karin Mirjam


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science




Taylor & Francis




Jeremy Simeon Trottmann

Date Deposited:

25 Jul 2016 13:36

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:56

Publisher DOI:



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